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DVD / video DVD / video Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Kafi's story
Editors:Howes, ArthurISNI
Hardie, Amy
Series:Library of African cinema
City:San Francisco, Cal.
Publisher:California Newsreel
Geographic terms:Sudan
South Sudan
civil wars
videos (form)
documentary films (form)
Abstract:Shot in 1989, 'Kafi's Story' captures Nuba life at the moment before it was engulfed in the Sudanese civil war. Kafi narrates his own story into a portable tape recorder as he travels from his village, Torogi, to Khartoum to earn enough money to buy a new dress for his second wife, Tete. His journey begins among the granite outcrops in southcentral Sudan which has preserved the Nuba way of life for millennia against invaders from the North: the Kushite kingdoms, Arab slave traders and, more recently, the fundamentalist Sudanese regime. Kafi is quite consciously negotiating his own path between modernity and tradition. The lure of the city puts stress on Nuba society; it is never certain whether the men will return from the city and Kafi has doubts about the fidelity of his first wife back home. Now that the Nuba have become so dispersed, Kafi says he does not know where the Nuba are. Kafi and the other Nuba react to the presence of the camera with neither awe nor apprehension; they seem to welcome the camera as an extension of their open, outgoing, hospitable lifestyle. There are ominous signs everywhere that Kafi's plans for a home and family may not be realized: Sudanese soldiers are camped near the village; the harsh Islamic sharia law is being imposed on the more relaxed Nuba. Kafi ends the story with a touching formal farewell to the future viewers who having travelled so far with him will ask 'where is Kafi now?' He could not have realized how poignant that remark would become; less than a month after filming stopped, Torogi was a battle zone. [Abstract reproduced from video]